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Snowstorm hitting Rocky earlier this week

The first heavy storm of the season is set to cover Rocky with heavy snow until mid-week. This is primarily a mountain snow event, but some snowflakes can reach lowland valleys.

Whether the trucker is ready or not, Oldman Winter hits most of the area from Monday to Tuesday and declines at the beginning of Wednesday. Storms also produce blizzard conditions and the coldest temperatures of the season in mountainous areas, with minimum temperatures dropping to teens and twenties.

In many highlands of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, the National Weather Service predicts 1-2 feet of snow. Locations along the Front Range, such as Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fort Collins, Colorado, and the western suburbs of Denver are expected to remain warm enough to primarily support rain. However, some damp snowflakes can occur.

The storm had just started on Sunday as some of the first snow showers began to march towards the Pacific Northwest. However, the most influential winter weather will still come as the snow gets heavier and spreads throughout the western mountains.

Travel conditions can quickly become dangerous, as snowstorms of more than an inch per hour combined with blizzards can lead to whiteout conditions. Gusts can reach 35-50 mph in some locations, further increasing the risk of drivers deadheading (pulling empty trailers) or carrying light loads.

On Monday night, snow and much colder conditions continue to filter the Rocky Mountains south and east. Snowfall can increase in the Wasatch and Uintah Mountains of Utah before dawn on Tuesday.

Related: Five states with the strictest chaining laws for truck drivers

Beyond the Salt Lake Valley, the temperature may be just a little warmer and you may not be able to snow. That said, the high temperatures in the afternoon from Tuesday to Thursday are expected to reach mid-40s, about 20 degrees below average.

Main lanes of concern

• Interstate 25 from Casper to Buffalo, Wyoming.
• Interstate 70 from Vail to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
• Interstate 80 in southeastern Wyoming.
• Interstate 90 from Sundance, Wyoming to Bozeman, Montana.

Other notable weather of the week

Heavy storms will create dangerous winds, large hail and tornado areas on Mondays throughout the Midwest, including Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. The threat of heavy storms increases on Tuesday, moving to planes, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and northern Texas.

Click here for more Freight Waves articles by Nick Austin.

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Snowstorm hitting Rocky earlier this week Snowstorm hitting Rocky earlier this week

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